State Capture: South Africans want everyone linked to State Capture in orange overalls

Published Jun 22, 2023


Gauteng - South Africans want to see those who facilitated the capture of the state, and who benefited from it, in handcuffs and orange overalls.

With the wheels of justice moving slower and slower, it has led to not only a harsher critique but also a dampening of the successes of the state capture inquiry that has clearly mapped how government officials and the Gupta family worked hand in hand to run the country “into the ground”.

This assessment was translated from a South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) carried out last year following the conclusion of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.

Results of the survey were discussed at a colloquium hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on Thursday.

The academic conference and meeting of the minds, entitled Post Zondo: The Future of Democracy, brought together researchers, thought leaders and civil society influencers to reflect on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s report a year after it was handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

According to HSRC research director Dr Benjamin Roberts and PHD research intern Ngqapheli Mchunu, the survey showed that 34% of people felt the state capture inquiry was a “waste of funds”, with a resounding 54% of people uncertain or neutral in their confidence in the Commission.

About 50% of people felt that the guilty were not held accountable or arrested following the Commission.

Dr Roberts said that it may also be an “unfair” expectation from the public to punish the Commission for the lack of swift justice as law enforcement and judicial processes were not in the Commission’s mandate.

“It could also be the many hats that the Chief Justice wears, in this instance, as Commissioner of the Inquiry and head of the judiciary, that could leave the public confused,” he said.

Overall, the survey found mounting concern about corruption by most South Africans in the last 20 years.

The SASAS revealed that 62% of people felt that “quite a lot” or “almost all” politicians were involved in corruption, with 49% of people claiming that a government official asked them or a close family member for a bribe in the last five years.